Digital disruption in HR
16 March 2017

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) recently announced that the Singapore economy saw a 2% growth in 2016. It also predicted the GDP growth for 2017 to be between 1-3%, a development that “will require staffing, resourcing and recruitment efforts from HR departments in the region”i. With the demand for HR professionals on the rise, business owners and HR personnel should look to automation to ease the workload and alleviate the manpower crunch. Here are 3 digital trends to harness to ensure maximum HR efficiency:

Cloud-based HRM software

A recent HR survey discovered that over, “70% of respondents … already have implemented or will move to a HR software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform in the next two years.”ii This is because SMEs are more informed on the advantages cloud solutions bring. Small businesses enjoy frequent software updates, can connect to their work from anywhere with any device and can scale up or down to suit their changing needs.  


HR professionals, in particular, could potentially benefit the most from such cloud solutions. According to Human Resources Online, regulatory and compliance project professionals are amongst the top 5 sought after professionals in Singaporeiii.  This is because keeping up with the red tape in the local scene is growing increasingly complicated, especially with changing CPF rates and regulations like mandatory payslips.


Implementing cloud-based software that helps automatically stay up to date with regulations would free up time for your HR talent to maximise employee performance and improve corporate policies.

HR analytics

The rise of cloud services is intricately linked to another major development—big data.  As HRM Asia’s Susan Galer points out: 

“Moving HR activities and processes into the cloud has the power to turn HR into a data-driven business partner while allowing it to become more people-oriented than ever. ” iv

Big data enables SMEs to make smarter decisions based on predictive-performance analytics. Yazad Dalal, head of HCM cloud applications, Asia Pacific at Oracle Corporation states that analytics “will take talent and succession-planning data, to help predict and make intelligent next-role recommendations and connect employees with mentors to help prepare them for that particular role.”v Business owners can also track employee training and performance to identify the effective methods of keeping staff engaged, and eliminate aspects that are less productive.


Beyond employee training and progression, HR analytics can also be used to predict healthcare costs and effectiveness of employee wellness programs. Despite healthcare being a top business cost, “most employers don’t know what is driving their healthcare trend or what they can do about itvi” says Strategic Analytics expert Anumeha Goel.


With staff records and history, SMEs can provide each employee with relevant healthcare information, reducing healthcare costs. According to SHRM big data can do anything from predict which workers risk becoming seriously ill to subscribing to better health plans based on your staff’s needsvii.

Employee engagement
Big data also plays a part in staff retention and engagement. Employee engagement and retention can raise productivity by up to 22%, and can cut turnover by up to 65%. viii

Thus, as employee retention becomes increasingly important for employers, it falls to the HR professionals to help boost employee engagement.


Technology like peer-to-peer recognition software creates a more interactive environment by letting employees give feedback on each other’s performances. Studies show that peer-to-peer recognition is the third most popular way people show appreciation at workix, improving office relationships, communication and morale.

HR talent need not worry about automation taking their jobs. In fact, the growing demand for highly skilled employees who are proficient in HR automation and digital technology like data analytics ensures that those looking to take on HR positions must be able to work closely with technology to thrive.


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